Wamogo Middle School TEAM PAGE

Wamogo Middle School
Litchfield, CT, USA

Online Contest:
Erase A Chalkboard
Online Division I - Ages 11 - 14 (Middle School)
Team Leader: Brooks
Team Members: 12
Invitations: 0

What we're studying:
Physical Science

Our Team Leader's favorite quote:
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.”
― William G.T. Shedd

Why we think we should win:
We worked very well together, and we had a LOT of fun, even though we never succeeded in getting all of the parts to work in a single run. In fact, our "failures" allowed us to do more problem-solving. Our "Pezopolis" theme was used throughout our machine, and we used our teacher's Pez collection. We found a great picture of Pez for our logo, and it really gives our website some pizzazz (Thank you to Bret Arnett, http://goo.gl/BBJLwQ.)

We definitely learned what we would do differently, if we were able to do this over again.

Suggestion for next year's challenge:
Stir a pot of soup or use a "grabber" to pick something up off the floor.

Favorite Rube Goldberg video:

Welcome to Pezopolis, where tape is key! Our creative team: Aidan, Amelia, Ana, Brendan, Christian, David, Jada, Jonathan, Kaylee-Jo, Michaela, Olivia, Phillip, Sam, Sean.

Our Step List

1. Spongebob Pez is comfortably snoozing under his blanket. When the cardboard is pulled out, gravity pulls his bed down.
2. His bed is tied to a string, which ends at a barrier that is holding back a steel marble. When the bed falls, the barrier is pulled away and the marble goes down the tube and lands in a cup.
3. The heavier cup pulls on the string that goes over a pulley, pulling up another cup.
4. The second cup bumps into cardboard and sends a golf ball down a small ramp.
5. The golf ball knocks a cardboard barrier that holds back a cup on a zip-line.
6. At the end of the zip-line, the cup knocks a large marble on top of a Styrofoam block with tracks.
7. The large marble hits a smaller marble through a tunnel bored in the Styrofoam, which then goes through a marble maze.
NOTE: The first seven are our favorite steps, because they almost always worked as expected.
8. At the end of the maze, the marble falls on the feet of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pez, starting a chain reaction of falling TMNT Pez figures.
9. The last TMNT Pez bumps a marble at the top of a ramp.
10. At the end of the ramp, the marble falls into a funnel. When it exits the funnel, it bumps into a heavy superball on a lever.
11. The falling superball does one of two things:
a. In our walkthrough and early trials, the superball falls on a precariously perched Pez lunchbox filled with heavy items, which falls over, releasing a string holding a cardboard flap in position to brace the roll of paper towels.
b. In later trials, the superball falls on a pair of scissors poised to cut a ribbon holding a cardboard flap in position to brace the roll of paper towels.
12. When the cardboard flap is no longer held in place by the string, the roll of paper towels rolls down the Looney Tunes Pez gallery ramp, aiming right for a box with a “deer in the headlights” Pez taped to the front and Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein watching from a safe location. The box serves to keep the paper towel roll within the machine boundary.
13. The roll of paper towels is attached by ribbon to the Pez rotor, so as the roll gets wrapped in the ribbon, the rotor is turned. In early trials, each of the six arms ended in a chalkboard eraser. In later trials, this was reduced to one arm with an eraser. The rotor is supported by two giant Pez dispensers, Cookie Monster (who sings the Sesame Street Song) and a kind of creepy clown that freaks some of us out.
14. As the rotor turns, “Our Competition” is erased from existence, on the chalkboard, anyway.

Our Close-ups: Photos

Our Close-ups: Favorite Step

Our Close-ups: Task Completion

Our Machine Explaination and Walkthrough

Our Machine Run Videos

Machine Run #1
Machine Run #2